Most people who suffer from sinusitis start feeling better in several days or a couple of weeks. But for some individuals, sinus infections can become a chronic and persistent problem. The symptoms don’t recede, even with strong antibiotics or steroids. In growing numbers, those people are trying a treatment called balloon sinuplasty, which can give respite from sinus infections.
Should You Have Balloon Sinuplasty?
For some individuals who suffer from chronic sinus infections, balloon sinuplasty can be a quite effective treatment. But it’s only approved for certain people. The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery released updated clinical criteria for balloon sinuplasty recently.
You will need to avoid balloon sinuplasty if:
- You are trying to treat your sleep apnea but do not have any symptoms of sinusitis.
- You suffer from chronic sinus infection symptoms but no presentation on a CT or imaging scan. A balloon sinuplasty won’t benefit you if your sinuses appear to be clear.
- You have nasal polyps.
- You don’t have persistent sinus infections but you do have chronic headaches.
- You’re trying to treat an acute (short-term) sinus infection (put simply, your sinus infection is not chronic yet).
However, balloon sinuplasty might be a good fit for you if:
- You have chronic sinusitis and have previously undergone surgery to correct the problem.
- You have inflamed or plugged sinuses as evidenced by a CT or other imaging scans.
- You’ve had a sinus infection for over three months.
- You are also undergoing a procedure called functional endoscopic sinus surgery (or FESS).
- Your doctor has cleared you for the procedure.
- Your sinus infections keep coming back.
Be prepared to discuss your total medical history because it’s important to consider everything before deciding on this procedure. With all this in mind, this procedure could be correct for you if your sinuses are continually swollen and full of mucus.
Should I Try Other Treatments First?
For most patients, balloon sinuplasty isn’t the first treatment option for sinus infections. Most individuals will likely undergo other strategies first. Some of these alternatives might include medication, steroids, or antibiotics.
Give us a call if you want to find out whether balloon sinuplasty is the best choice for you.